Tea bread is such a scrumptious addition to afternoon tea or coffee. Quick and easy to make, it fills the house with luscious smells as it bakes, tempting everyone in the vicinity to pop into the kitchen for a cuppa and a chat. A basic tea bread recipe is simply a sweet bread, aromatic with vanilla, moist and rich with thick sour cream or plain yogurt. From this basic recipe you can play with flavorings and additions to make a myriad of scrumptious tea breads to suit your every mood.
Lemon Blueberry tea bread is one of my favorites. The plump, sweet blueberries pair beautifully with the tart lemon juice and fragrant lemon zest, while the moist buttery batter keeps the dessert from being too sweet or cloying.
Lemon Blueberry tea bread is lovely served warm from the oven, or at room temperature cut into thick slices and spread with butter. If you haven’t finished the tea bread after a few days, simply cut the remaining loaf into cubes and turn it into a luscious trifle layered with cream, fresh blueberries, and a sprinkling of limoncello or fruit liqueur. Or keep things simple by placing a thick slice in each bowl and top with ice cream or a dollop of Greek yogurt and a handful of fresh blueberries.
This tea bread recipe works well with other fruits as well. Try a peach ginger tea bread with chunks of fresh, ripe peaches and nuggets of caramelized ginger. Or lavender tea bread with a teaspoon of lavender buds and a cup or two of sliced fresh apricots.
If you prefer your tea bread with dried fruit instead, simply stir in one to two cups of raisins, sweetened dried cranberries, or chopped prunes. Dried cherries are also good, especially when mixed with a fragrant, warming spice such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger.
If fruit really isn’t your thing, fill your tea bread batter with some gorgeous nuts instead. You can use raw chopped almonds, broken walnut or pecan pieces, or whole hazelnuts. Roasting the nuts in the oven or toasting them in a frying pan before adding them to the batter will make the nutty tea bread even more special. Be sure to save a handful of them to top the tea bread with. Not only will your loaf look beautiful, the crunch from the toasted nuts will add to the taste and texture.
Seeds are also a good addition. From tiny poppy seeds and chia seeds to more toothsome pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds, they all add a delightful crunch and flavor to a simple tea bread recipe. I like to combine seeds with dried fruit in tea bread; the contrast of crunchy and chewy is pure pleasure.
The nutty and seedy versions of tea bread are especially nice toasted. Be sure to serve them with plenty of room temperature butter or cream.
Tea bread also makes a lovely gift. Let it cool completely, then wrap simply in butcher’s paper and twine.
Lemon Blueberry Tea Bread Recipe
- 3 eggs
- Zest of one lemon
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
Preheat oven to 375F.
Line large loaf pan with baking paper; set aside.
Whisk together eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and sugar.
Beat in sour cream, flour, and baking powder.
Gently stir in melted butter and blueberries.
Pour batter into loaf pan and bake in center of oven for 35-45 minutes. Loaf is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Let cool a few minutes, then remove loaf to cooling rack.
While loaf is cooling, prepare drizzle by whisking together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over top of tea loaf when ready to serve.